Pokemon Heroes



Below-average for series and too violent for younger kids.
  • Review Date: February 8, 2004
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 80 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Primarily to entertain rather than inform. The city of Altomare looks very much like Venice, Italy, and introduces a city of canals and splendid architecture.

Positive messages

An opening song encourages everyone to fulfill their destinies. "Everyone has a dream that fills their hearts." Ash's dream is presented as his quest to become the world's greatest Pokemon master. As in all the Pokemon movies, villains are defeated by the forces of good.

Positive role models


The human Pokemon heroes exhibit traits that serve them well: courage, selflessness, quick-thinking, loyalty, and empathy. They are aided by the troops of good Pokemon. Villains are always greedy, selfish, and ultimately defeated. Female characters hold their own with the males and are the villains in this movie. There's a minimal effort to acknowledge ethnic diversity.


Violence & scariness

Waves and/or funnels of water crash and threaten the beautiful city of Altomare more than once. Characters are submerged, struggle, but finally escape the raging waters. Two sea creature-guardians (Latios and Latias) are in jeopardy for much of the film; their screeches are piercing. The frequent cartoon action includes: thunderbolts, chases, force fields, falls, and electric shocks. "The Defense Mechanism of Altomare," described as the most powerful weapon ever built, subdues its victims, goes out of control, and threatens everyone. Evil-looking fossils appear and wreak havoc on the humans, the Pokemon, and most terribly on Latias and Latios, the guardians of the city.  

Sexy stuff


Some female characters, most notably the villains, wear revealing clothing (bare midriffs and backs, tight-fitting). Some very mild flirting.


Not applicable

The Pokemon films continue to be an effective marketing tool for all Pokemon products -- games, cards, toys, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pokemon Heroes, the fifth film in the Pokemon seriesstays true to the franchise's focus on cartoon action. There are lots of battles, many characters in danger from one-dimensional villains and their weapons, and the ongoing threat of a beautiful, peaceful city's destruction. No one is seriously injured, but some characters are knocked out for a time, and one central legendary "guardian" vanishes, supposedly giving his life to save his city -- it's never spoken of as a death, but as if he is now in some other, better place. Positive messages about fulfilling dreams and destiny, as well as the ever-present "good triumphs over evil," get some attention and frame the almost nonstop physical conflict.

What's the story?

In POKEMON HEROES, Pokemon master Ash and pals Brock and Misty visit the Venice-like city called Altomare, which is guarded by two legendary Pokemons named Latia and Latios. They are dolphin-shaped creatures who can make themselves invisible and disguise themselves as human and who communicate in annoying fingernails-on-blackboard screeches. Meanies Annie and Oakley, teen girls with midriff-baring outfits, steal the jewel that is the source of Altomare's power.

Is it any good?


This lackluster fifth Pokemon movie has some briefly lovely background paintings, but other than that it's below average for the series. It's too violent and confusing for younger kids and doesn't have enough character, plot, or visual interest to engage older kids.

There are three reasons that children are drawn to characters like Pokemon. First is the perennial appeal of characters who appear to be weak but have hidden sources of power. Kids, who live in a world of powerful giants are drawn to stories of transformations and secret strength. Second, the many facts to memorize about Pokemon give children a chance to master something, giving them a sense of power and competence. Third, as children start to develop social skills, fads like Pokemon provide a shared language that can help those conversations and imaginative games get started.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Pokemon movies are popular. Are they just a marketing tool for selling Pokemon cards, games and toys? Or are they fun on their own? 

  • How do you think Pokemon Heroes compares with other Pokemon movies? 

  • Families might want to look at photographs of Venice, which inspired the imaginary city of Altomare.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 16, 2003
DVD release date:January 20, 2004
Cast:Megan Hollingshead, Tara Jayne, Veronica Taylor
Director:Kunihiko Yuyama
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Friendship, Ocean creatures, Science and nature
Run time:80 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Pokemon Heroes was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written bywhyamiusingthissite September 5, 2009

Not this 'give it a horrible review because you've lost your inner child' thing again

How are female characters being strong a bad message? You people are the sexist ones, not Pokemon. What character dies? Commercial? The only commercial in this movie is when you watch it on cable. Oh no, a kiss on the cheek, this is UNACCEPTABLE! Get the FCC on the phone at once! How is this too violent? Go Deigo Go! is more perilous than this, they put so many animals out in Life-Death situations it's not even fair. Latios and LatiaS (forgot the 's' on the end) do not sound like nails in a chalkboard! They sound cute. When will you people learn?
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byeonbirdies April 17, 2011
Whats wrong with you people? It's not a stupid movie. I am 11 and its my favorite! If you watch the end, you see that latios is alive. You have no taste. You are the stupid ones!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byBeckstar November 1, 2011

sad, but a great film

Lovely film. But the ending is quite sad. I didn't cry as much as I did in the very first Pokemon film, but it sure stirred the tears. Yes, I shouldn't cry at Pokemon at my age. But it is quite sad
What other families should know
Too much violence


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